On Saturday the 17th and Sunday the 18th of June, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York paid an archpastoral visit to the Church of the Holy Great-Martyrs Theodore Tyro & Theodore Stratelates in Buffalo, NY. The visit was scheduled for the diaconal ordination of Subdeacon George Hammond, as well as to coincide with nearest Sunday to the feast of the Transfer of the Relics of St. Theodore Stratelates, the parish’s patronal feast day.
Metropolitan Hilarion arrived at Buffalo Airport on Saturday. Upon arrival, His Eminence was treated to lunch and had some time to visit with the local parish and visiting clergy. That evening, His Eminence served the All-Night Vigil, joined by parish rector Priest John Boddecker and Deacon Andrew Hammond, along with visiting Deacon Peter Markevich (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY).
On June 18, the Sunday of All Saints of Russia, after the greeting of the Metropolitan by Fr. John, Liturgy began. Joining the above-mentioned clergy were Priest John Johnson (cleric of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC) and Deacon Nikifor Franklin (cleric of Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY). The choir sang beautifully under the dual direction of the parish choir director, Justin Kawa, and assistant director, Yanna Hammond.
After the Eucharistic Canon, Metropolitan Hilarion ordained Subdeacon George Hammond to the diaconate. The newly ordained Deacon George will fulfill his service at Sts. TheodoreChurch.
At the end of the Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion deliver a moving homily to the parishioners and guests of Saints Theodore Church calling on them to strive with a firm resolve for the sanctity which flourished in Holy Russia and to become saints in our own time and place.
Following Divine Liturgy, a bountiful banquet was provided by the Parish Sisterhood of Sts. Mary & Martha in the parish refectory.
The newly ordained Deacon George served his first cycle of services on the following Tuesday and Wednesday as the parish celebrated its patronal feast of the Holy Great-Martyr Theodore Stratelates.